Lyonchhen Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering graced the Salang Tendrel ceremony at the Powerhouse of the 32 MW Yungichhu Hydro Power Project in Maetsho gewog, Lhuentse on 8 July

For the first time Bhutanese contractors to build 3 small hydro projects under DGPC supervision

Marking a significant milestone for Bhutan’s hydropower sector, Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering graced the Salang Tendrel ceremony at the Powerhouse of the 32 MW Yungichhu Hydro Power Project in Maetsho gewog, Lhuentse on 8 July 2022. At an estimated project cost of Nu. 3,565 million, the Yungichhu Hydro Power Project is expected to complete in 36 months.

This is the pioneering project to be launched under the first Phase of the Small Hydropower Projects which will also include the construction of the 54 MW Burgangchhu in Nangkor Gewog, Zhemgang and 18 MW Suchhu in Sangbaykha Gewog, Haa. Currently work is underway to build roads to the powerhouse and intake locations at these two sites.

The idea of building numerous small hydro projects across the country was initiated by the Royal Government when the country was experiencing major economic difficulties due to the pandemic. Located in some of the most remote areas of the country, these small hydropower projects will help to accelerate post-pandemic economy recovery, generate employment and bring tangible economic benefits to the people at the grassroot level.

With an aggregated installed capacity of 104 MW, the three small hydropower projects will contribute to strengthening overall energy security and improving grid stability in the country. The small power projects will be particularly important in the event of natural disasters when power supply from the main grid could be disrupted. Prolonged power shortage could adversely affect the livelihood of the people and hamper post-disaster recovery as almost all households are now dependent on electricity on a daily basis.

The Druk Green Power Corporation conducted the feasibility studies and developed the Detailed Project Reports. The Druk Hydro Energy Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary company of DGPC will oversee the implementation of the projects. The construction works at all three sites will be undertaken by Bhutanese contractors.

The small power plants will be fully automated using the latest state of the art technology to ensure uninterrupted power supply and low operations and maintenance cost. The three power projects are expected to employ at least one thousand Bhutanese youth during the construction phase including a hundred De-suups who will be deployed through the Desuung National Service for Hydropower Construction at the Yungichhu site.

The DGPC is currently conducting feasibility studies for the four potential projects to be undertaken in the second phase of Small Hydropower Project Construction. With cumulative experience and advanced technical expertise, the company looks forward to undertaking higher capacity projects including small reservoir plants.

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